It was Sunday afternoon, and there were a lot of things I wanted to do before the new week started. Household chores needed to be done, errands needed to be run, and I also needed to do some editing on a manuscript.
But none of those things got completed.
Why? Well, it all started with a discussion between one of my sons and myself.
He was seeing things one way, and I was seeing them completely different. The ways in which we were thinking were nowhere close to being aligned. Now, as someone who has been alive on this planet for over 50 years, I’ve come to realize that there are ways of thinking that lead to good results…and there are ways of thinking that lead to not-so-good results.
It quickly became apparent that my son’s way of thinking was leaning toward the latter.
And that’s when I realized that the chores and errands were going to have to wait.
We walked way down to the other end of the road where nobody could walk away and nobody could interrupt us. We talked and we cried and we reasoned and we talked some more until two and a half hours had passed.
There were times when the discussion was extremely confusing to me. There were times when it was extremely confusing to him.
Once we made it through the confusion, we arrived at an amazing moment of clarity. And I truly don’t believe we’ll ever have the problem that led to our discussion again.
After the incident was over, I realized something—how many amazing moments of clarity have you and I missed all because we simply were not able to stay in the confusion long enough to get there?
How many times have parents thrown up their hands and said, “Well, for peace in our home, we’ll just let our kids do ____________” (insert thing that you know is not good for your kids here).
We are all very susceptible to confusion. It’s so easy to sense it and just slide away by saying things like, “I’ll handle this later,” or “If you act that way again, you and I are going to have a problem.”
But when we’re willing to stay in the confusion, swim around in it, and be patient with others and with ourselves, we’re able to find the result that we know is there. Never forget that: the result is there. All you have to ask yourself is, “Has there ever been a kid who understood this and turned out great?” If the answer is yes, then the result is attainable.
The best part is that this applies to every area in life, not just parenting.
What made Thomas Edison so extraordinary? His ability to work through confusion until he got the result he wanted.
What made the Wright brothers so extraordinary? Their ability to work through confusion until they got the results they wanted.
The list goes on and on!
The result you are looking for is possible. All you have to do is be patient and understand that confusion is not a warning, it is an opportunity card.
Jones would tell me that perception is a key here. Most folks run from confusion, yet it is “confusion” that guards the very treasure you seek! Think about it…immediately before you know “the answer,” you don’t know “the answer”!
Simple, isn’t it? This means that the closest one could be to the answer (you’re getting hot…) is to be confused, actively sorting and thinking and figuring, because confusion is right next to the answer.
However, when people allow confusion to intimidate them and they refuse to “hang in there” (oooooh….you’re getting cold…!) they unwittingly step further and further away from the answer they said they wanted.
So don’t be nervous about confusion or discouraged by it. Confusion is evidence that you’re on the right track. Ooooooooh! You are burning up!
What confusion have you worked you way through in the past? How did you do it?